All Directions Home

All Directions Home by Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley.
Bandcamp Link: All Directions Home
Another Duo from Vandermark and Wooley. While Vandermark concentrated on Clarinet on East by Northwest, on All Directions Home he concentrates on Baritone and Tenor Sax. Only on the amazingly titled, “I Prefer the Company of Birds”, does he whip out the licorice stick.

Recorded live at The Sugar Maple in Milwaukee, both players are amazingly “on”. Sensitivity, grace, tension, and comfortability with your performance partner are the sensibilities which inform.

If anything, it reminds me a bit of Jimmy Guiffre’s small groups in its relaxed eclecticism.

And, by the way, I too, often, prefer the company of birds.

#KenVandermark #NateWooley #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #AllDirectionsHome

East by Northwest

East by Northwest by Nate Wooley & Ken Vandermark.
Bandcamp Link: East by Northwest

An album of duets from trumpet player Nate Wooley & reed player Ken Vandermark, who will be playing together at @sfjazz tomorrow, Saturday, June 9, 2018.

A mix of composition and improvisation, which they dedicate to influences as diverse as Ranier Werner Fassbinder, Edward Burtynsky, and Christian Marclay. (I had to look Edward Burtynsky up, too, but he’s a photographer who is interested in documenting man’s impact on the planet.) But the primary influence on these duets was the long time partnership between woodwind player John Carter and trumpeter Bobby Bradford.

John Carter holds a special place in my heart, as well, as his work in the 1980s, from Dauwhe through Shadows on the Wall, were what inspired me to take up the clarinet.

In any case, the delicate interplay between the trumpet and clarinet, with their similar registers and expressive tonal qualities, are at the heart of this album. That and the interplay between passages free improvisation and written segments.

If you enjoy clarinet or trumpet, you should listen to this album, and you should be at SF Jazz on Saturday night.

#KenVandermark #NateWooley #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #EastByNorthwest #SFJazz

Rara Avis

Rara Avis by Rara Avis.

I picked this album because I wasn’t familiar with it at all and Ken Vandermark will be playing in duo with Nate Wooley this Saturday at SF Jazz.

Rara Avis is Ken Vandermark with 4 Italian musicians, Simone Quatrana (piano), Luca Pissavini (double bass), and _SEC (Revox tape recorder and sound treatments). The last couple of “free jazz” releases this week have been pretty easy going, (Again by the Thing and Featuring by WLSFW). Rara Avis is pretty hard going, at least in terms of the energy of the performance and the expressive palette used by the musicians. This is not free jazz for beginners. Sometimes it sounds like the musicians are pulling their instruments apart by the strings. Or the mouthpieces.

It is abrasive, fast, cacophonic, and more than a little crazy. 
Musica Pazza.

You know, just the sort of thing I enjoy.

#KenVandermark #SimoneQuatrana #LucaPissavini #SEC_ #RaraAvis #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #SFJazz